Pinarayi Vijayan involved in Kerala dollar smuggling case, claims customs chief

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Friday termed as “shocking” Kerala gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh’s revelations against state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan that foreign currency was smuggled at their instance.

The ruling CPM, however, hit out at the BJP-led central government questioning its intentions in the backdrop of the elections.

The Customs, probing the case, claimed in the Kerala High Court on Friday that Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, has made “shocking revelations” against Vijayan, Sreeramakrishnan and some ministers with regard to dollar “smuggling” involving UAE consulate officials.

In an affidavit filed in the court weeks before the Assembly elections in the state, the Customs said Suresh made the ‘revelations’ in statements given to the agency under Sections 108 and 164 of the CrPC.

Attacking the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, which submitted an affidavit in the Kerala high court containing a statement of Suresh revealing the Chief Minister’s role in dollar smuggling, the ruling CPM alleged that the probe agencies have stooped so low that they have
become an election tool in the hands of the BJP.

The party-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) said it would launch a protest against the “political games” played against the chief minister, ministers and the Left government using the central probe agencies.

Hitting out at Vijayan, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, said he does not have the right to remain in the chief minister’s post in view of the revelations.

Referring to the statement given by Suresh to a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC, the senior Congress leader said still the probe agencies have not taken any action against the chief minister and the Speaker.

He alleged a ploy by the state government and the central government for not going ahead with a detailed investigation into the case despite the revelations by Suresh before a magistrate.

“Even with this shocking evidence in hand, the probe agencies have freezed the investigation. Who gave instructions to freeze the investigation? The investigation was freezed when it was sure that the probe would reach the chief minister. This seems like part of a ploy by the chief minister and the BJP,” Chennithala said.

This statement was in hand for the last two months but still the probe agencies failed to move forward with the case, he alleged.

“This is a ploy by the state central governments”, Chennithala said.

The CPM alleged that the affidavit submitted by the Customs in the high court shows that the BJP is disturbed after knowing that the Left will retain power in the state after the polls.

“Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Left government have an image of good governance in the Kerala society. This has given jitters to those who rule the centre and they will go to any extent to fight against the Left. The probe agencies have stooped so low that they have become an election tool in the hands of BJP. Don’t think that people are fools,” the CPM said in a statement.

It said the intention of the central government has become crystal clear with the Customs submitting a ‘secret statement’, given by one of the accused months ago, just after the election was declared.

“The probe agencies which reached Kerala to investigate the gold smuggling case have been unable to find anything related to it. Their attempts to create a smokescreen of allegations were defeated by the people of the state in the recent local body polls,” the CPM said.



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